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Kadesh is the archeological site of the eponymous ancient fortress city in the Orontes Valley.


Kadesh's remains are the ruins at Tell Nebi Mend, about 24 km (15 mi) southwest of Homs, near al-Qusayr and adjacent to the modern-day Syrian village of Tell al-Nabi Mando. The city is first mentioned in historical records in the archive of Mari in the 18th century BC. as the headquarter of king Ishi-Addu of Qatna who took up residence there. It was a strategic asset (together with Megiddo) coveted by Hittites and Egyptians alike. Here was fought the Battle of Kadesh between the two empires, in 1274 BC - the earliest battle in recorded history for which details of tactics and formations are known. It is believed to have been the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving between 5,000 and 6,000 chariots in total.

Kadesh was destroyed by the invading Sea Peoples in around 1178 BC. However, Hellenistic remains have been found in the upper levels of the tell (ruin-mound), and the summit is still occupied today.

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